The War on Higher Education

Clipart of academic

Guess what I did at graduate school? According to some on Medium, it was learn liberal boogeyman theories which will now cause me to go out into society spreading evil ideas on unsuspecting citizens. Yes, this is what is being argued in some of the best written bullshit I have seen conservatives try to produce. I mean I taught Master’s level students, so I did not previously have the treat of grading PhD level bullshit.

I’m not linking to the article or even giving the author publicity. But liberals need to step up their game. Conservatives are sending out their doctoral-level liars to scare the public into believing that when mom and pop sent their little boy and girl to graduate school, we all learned Marxism. I find it humorous, because I have literally never read Marx. Probably should have. I know what he said. I understand Marxism, but in my eight years of doctoral education — I have a joint PhD, so it took me a lot longer — I was never once assigned to read Marx. And it was a social work degree! But I digress.

Conservatives with PhDs have apparently been sent out to write essays and tell the world that everyone with a Ph.D. is a scary liberal (most of us are liberal, because most highly educated people are). They were told to say that it is because we get taught something special and different in graduate school that allows us to manipulate the rest of society. Theories.

Everyone lives their life by a theory. Educated people just happen to get access to what other educated people get to say. If there are things to criticize about higher education, it is that their science is too hard for the public to access. I’m not an academic, and if I didn’t shell out a kebuddle of money to my alumni society, I wouldn’t have any library access.

Educated people become liberal because they get to spend years of privilege just reading all the things other educated people have gotten to spend time learning about. It’s a lucky group. I was blessed to be part of it, especially because it is pretty reserved for the upper class. Coming from the bottom 1%, I had poor odds of ever going to graduate school.

Being there was not a pleasant experience socially, because of the upper-class environment. That’s another bad aspect of higher education — it has a social class divide. That’s what these conservatives writing these articles want to exploit. They want to tell the working class, especially white working-class, people that (Jewish) educators are putting liberal “theories” in their mind. And then those people are going out and teaching the public, “liberal theories.” And the whole thing is leading to “political correctness.” Then, “academics divide society.”

This is all a giant, sucking lie. Those of us who started some 25 years ago to try to change higher education to have more of a diversity focus are watching conservatives use this strategy to respond. It is their cloaked, racist response. If you keep in mind that their latent racism lies beneath the motivation for each of these articles, you can find the hidden message within the article. Just read between the lines. I guess it was one of the skills I learned in graduate school. I can tell when a writer is trying to sell me bullshit in one package of words with the dressing of others.

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From 1976–77, I was living with the FLDS polygamist cult. In 1982, I went to foster care. From these traumas, a thousand more would launch.

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Deborah Megivern

Deborah Megivern

From 1976–77, I was living with the FLDS polygamist cult. In 1982, I went to foster care. From these traumas, a thousand more would launch.

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